Film: Also Showing

Chance or Coincidence claude Lelouch (PG), Place Vendome nicole garcia (15), The Match mick davis (15) Goodbye Lover roland joffe (15), Doug's First Movie (U)

CLAUDE LELOUCH'S Chance or Coincidence opens with a shot of polar bears wrestling one another, and proceeds to encompass whirling dervishes in Turkey, cliff-divers in Acapulco, ice-hockey players in Toronto and art collectors in New York. What can it all mean? By its close, you may not be any the wiser, but the desultory travelogue that substitutes for narrative isn't without beguiling moments. At its centre is Myriam (Alessandra Martines), a dancer holidaying with her young son in Venice; here she falls in love with a charming art forger Pierre (Pierre Arditi), though their relationship has barely begun before tragedy envelops them.

Armed with a camcorder, Myriam jet-hops around the globe making holiday movies and contemplating suicide. Lelouch complements her anguished wanderings with the parallel story of a lecturer-cum-theatrical performer Marc (Marc Hollogne) who chances upon Myriam's stolen video camera and becomes obsessed by her. The suspicion that Lelouch is simply making it all up as he goes along won't necessarily vitiate your enjoyment, though you can't help wondering what this director might be capable of were he wise to the virtue of discipline. As it is, this scrappy, meandering yarn will entertain without any assurance of staying in the memory.

Discreetly expensive taste is the hallmark of Nicole Garcia's Place Vendome, a tale of intrigue (thriller would be pushing it) set in the upper echelons of the international gem business. After her disgraced jeweller-husband destroys himself, Marianne (Catherine Deneuve) emerges from the hinterland of alcoholism to confront ghosts from her past. These include her late husband's assistant (Emmanuelle Seigner) and a charming duplicitous jewel- dealer (Jacques Dutronc) whom she once loved.

Throw in a new lover (Jean-Pierre Bacri) and the shadowplay of Mafia involvement and you have on paper a seductive proposition. Sadly, the enterprise is hampered by funereal pacing and indecisive plotting: I never felt quite sure what was going on, and suspected I wouldn't care even if I did. As for Deneuve, age has weathered but not withered her - if anything it has made her face more hauntingly opaque. She's wonderful in that distracted, faintly tragic way of hers, but what dull films they put her in nowadays. Shot in a sombre palette of duns and greys, Place Vendome is as spiffy and elegant-looking as any film this year; it's also as remote and impersonal as a jeweller's window.

God spare us another Britflick about plucky underdogs. The Match is a pathetic and shameless knock-off of the blokes-under-pressure scenario that characterised The Full Monty, Brassed Off and many more imitators to come. For the record, it stars Max Beesley as Wullie Smith, a young milkman in the Scottish village of Inverdoune, where an annual pub football match is about to enjoy its centenary. This year, if the team from Benny's Bar lose - as they have done on the previous 99 occasions - then they forfeit ownership to rival landlord Gus (Richard E Grant), who plans to level it for a carpark.

So can the disabled Wully turn his bunch of toe-rags into match winners and save the pub? Oh, and can he also be reconciled to his alcoholic mum and win the love of childhood sweetheart Rosemary?

A more interesting question: how did this paltry project manage to secure the services of a top-drawer cast? Ian Holm, Bill Paterson, Tom Sizemore, Laura Fraser and Neil Morrissey all chip in, which must be testament to writer-director Mick Davis's powers of persuasion; it can't have been anything to do with artistic promise. The script tries to emulate the quaint Scots whimsy of Bill Forsyth, to mortifying effect, while its believe-in-yourself homilies are trite and mawkish. Max Beesley starts the film brightly enough, but is gradually overwhelmed by the responsibility of holding this jerry-built thing together. Difficult to pick a low point, but Richard E Grant's lamentable attempt at a Scots accent felt like an embarrassment too far.

They said it couldn't be done, but there is a film this week with even less to recommend it than The Match. Roland Joffe, seeking a change of pace from epics (The Killing Fields, The Mission) has tried his hand at black comedy in Goodbye Lover, and it's an absolute horror. Patricia Arquette stars as Sandra, a minx with a helmet of blonde hair and an eye on the main chance. She peps herself up on self-help tapes, The Sound of Music and the erotic ardour of PR whizz Ben (Don Johnson) - too bad she's married to his alcoholic brother Jake (Dermot Mulroney). (Lots of people hitting the bottle this week, film reviewers among them).

The plot is one of those tricksy layered numbers that revels in double- and triple-crossing us, but given how little we care for any of the characters, these convolutions seem pretty pointless.

Picking her way through the garbled plot is a police sergeant played by Ellen DeGeneres, whose sarcastic sparring with her straight-arrow deputy confirmed all my prejudices about her TV show: viz, not funny in the slightest. Joffe directs in an expensive screwball style, tilting the camera and tarting up the suspense with daft fantasy sequences. Watch out for Goodbye Director: The Roland Joffe Story.

Doug's First Movie is Disney's latest spin-off from yet another cartoon series I've never seen. Doug, a mild-mannered schoolboy, seemed rather bland for an animated hero, but one must assume that kids love him. The story concerns his rescue and defence of a cuddly reptilian, whose most striking virtue is his refusal to act like Barney - so none of that god- awful singing. Harmless stuff, in other words, though I won't be counting the days until Doug's second movie.

AQ

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders